We spent our first weekend in the US in Niagara Falls. This weekend getaway is well planned, we booked our flight in JetBlue departing from JFK Airport to take us to Buffalo, NY. We have a rental car to take us to JFK at 5:30AM our flight is at 7:30AM. The travel time from our hotel to JFK is about 45 mins.
When we arrived at JFK, we look for the check in counters but they do not have any, it is because they have a self-check in kiosk where you just need to fill in your name and your flight will be detected. It will print out the stickers that you need to put on your baggage and your boarding pass, very convenient. After that we need to go to baggage drop off. After a few minutes we are heading to the gate to board our first JetBlue experience. JetBlue might be similar to our Cebu Pacific – budget airline, but the seats are a little bigger and bigger leg room as well, maybe because they are transporting “kanos” who are bigger than “pinoys”. There is a free wifi onboard, and even when we already flying we can still access internet … very cool. I even got to take a Live Video in Facebook. The travel time is less than one hour.
From Buffalo, NY airport we have a prior taxi booking to Niagara Falls State Park – Holiday Inn hotel where we are staying for the night. It took as a while to find the right taxi but eventually we succeeded. We check in at the hotel, we are lucky since they allow us to have an early check in. We just drop our bags and headed to the restaurant to have our brunch.
After eating we started our adventure in Niagara State Park. First we look for the Visitor Center to claim our Niagara Falls Discovery Pass, we purchased this online which costs us 40$ each, it will give us access to Maid of the Mist, Cave of the Winds, Aquarium of Niagara, Niagara Adventure Theater and unlimited rides on the Scenic Trolley for the day. The Niagara Falls State Park is huge and you really need to take the trolley to take you from one place to another, merely walking from our hotel to the visitors center is already exhausting.
Upon claiming our pass we head to the Maid of the Mist, we thought it’s easy to access but to our surprise there are a bunch of people like us who wants to ride the Maid of the Mist, so we have to line up for more than 1 hour. Good thing that you can see the Falls while waiting for your turn. We were able to take a lot of photos. We also saw the bridge that connects US to Canada, how we wish we can go there.
Finally, our time come and we are about to ride the Maid of the Mist. We were given ponchos to wear. Sadly the upper part of the boat is already taken, we just stayed on the lower part. I feel ecstatic, I am only dreaming of this moment before but now it’s reality, I am seeing Niagara Falls up close. The boat started to sail and as we come nearer and nearer the falls we the splash of water becomes greater. A few minutes after we saw the majestic view of Niagara Falls. Very strong current yet very beautiful. We stayed in front for a few minutes and headed to one more Falls, I did not know that Niagara Falls is composed of 3 Falls – The Horseshoe Falls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, I don’t know the difference of the three all I know is that they are all fascinating. After the ride we were a little wet due to the splash of water from the Falls good thing that we had our ponchos on.
Our next stop is the Aquarium Niagara, we rode the Trolley going there although you also need to line up before you can board the trolley. We just stayed in the Aquarium for few minutes since it is small. We also watched the seal show.
Again we waited for the trolley to take us to the Cave of the Winds. When we get there, there are already a lot of people lined up, I can say that it is almost twice as many as those in Maid of the Mist, which says that is this is a good activity so we waited. We were given sandals to wear instead of what we are wearing maybe because we will get wet inside according to them.
After more than 2 hours our turn finally came. We wore another set of ponchos now color yellow and wore our Niagara Falls sandals. The cave of the Winds experience is walking behind the falls, experiencing the water current from the falls. We walk down the wooden stairs and climb up to see the Falls up close. The current is very strong that the Ponchos were taken off from our head. This is one of a kind experience. We saw the breathtaking view of the falls and experienced the strong current. This is surely worth the wait!
We planned to go to the Theater after this but we are already exhausted and we still want to swim in the hotel’s pool so we decided to board the next trolley back to our hotel. We had a nice dinner and had a good time swimming at the pool before we call it night.
In the morning, we woke up early since we need to catch the 6:30AM Amtrak going back to the NYC. We took a cab going to the Amtrak station at 5:30 AM. We choose to ride the Amtrak going back to the city first to save money and to see the whole New York while riding the train. The train ride lasted for 9 hours, we had plenty of sleep and had a lot of picturesque view that we can keep in our memories.